MES 30 Help

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mneder

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Apr 16, 2015
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I'm new here. Posted this message for mbtechnician but then thought others might be able to help too, So reposting here. 6 minutes ago

Need help please. I bought a used MES 30 with glass door and BlueTooth and built in probe (which I don't use). It's out of warranty (if it ever had one - somebody brushed out the SN when I went looking for it when this problem began). Worked fine at first until I had a small explosion and fire on night at the start of cooking a brisket (never figured out the cause). Since then the smoked just shuts down without any warning in the middle of a cook. I reset the temp/time and it runs for a 5-10 minutes and then shuts down again. This cycle can go on and on, or sometime it might go for an hour before stopping. Is there some easy fix? Did the fire screw up one on the temp sensors (controller sensor or overheat sensor? I'm about to give up. Really can't use it the way it is. Thanks.
 

tallbm

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I'm new here. Posted this message for mbtechnician but then thought others might be able to help too, So reposting here. 6 minutes ago

Need help please. I bought a used MES 30 with glass door and BlueTooth and built in probe (which I don't use). It's out of warranty (if it ever had one - somebody brushed out the SN when I went looking for it when this problem began). Worked fine at first until I had a small explosion and fire on night at the start of cooking a brisket (never figured out the cause). Since then the smoked just shuts down without any warning in the middle of a cook. I reset the temp/time and it runs for a 5-10 minutes and then shuts down again. This cycle can go on and on, or sometime it might go for an hour before stopping. Is there some easy fix? Did the fire screw up one on the temp sensors (controller sensor or overheat sensor? I'm about to give up. Really can't use it the way it is. Thanks.
Hi there and welcome!

My bet is that your safety rollout limit switch has burned up. If you look on the inside back wall of your smoker it looks like a round "button" about the size of a quarter, see the following image:
1662779479389.png


If you are lucky you have a panel on the back that allows you access like the smaller image on the right hand side above. If no panel then you have to cut one or pull the back off to get to it. I suggest if no panel exists that you cut one because the switch is cheap and melts down and you may replace a few... I sure have hahaha.

This is a common failure point on an MES. What happens is that switch starts to melt down and heats up directly at the switch.
The whole purpose of that switch is that if it reads temps over like 305F degrees it will cut power off to the heating element until the temp dies down.
So if the switch itself is melting down and overheating well it gets a false reading... until it burns up completely.
This is a common failure.

So get to that switch and check if it is burnt up at all. I bet the switch and or the connectors to it are burnt up.

If you find the switch burnt up you can clip the connectors and wire nut the wires together and that should feed power to the heating element but WARNING you are doing so without a safety switch in the mix so do at your own peril.
You can wire nut them together to confirm that it heats up and holds temp for a bit at like 225F and if so you know the switch was the only problem.

If you want a replacement switch I would suggest the ceramic version but again these are still cheap switches. There are 2 different styles of this switch which look the same BUT ARE NOT THE SAME. If you replace GET THIS EXACT ONE:

Please check and report back on what you find.
If you have to cut a panel it is worth replacing all your electrical connectors with good high temp ones at the heating element and the safety switch as they are the #1 failure point on MES smokers. They use super cheap female spade connectors (1/4 inch AWG 16) that corrode and burn up all the time.

Let us know what you find and we can get u back up and running. We've helped a ton of people find and fix these kinds of issues, they aren't too hard to deal with. Especially if its just a failing switch or connector :)
 

mneder

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Apr 16, 2015
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Hi there and welcome!

My bet is that your safety rollout limit switch has burned up. If you look on the inside back wall of your smoker it looks like a round "button" about the size of a quarter, see the following image:
View attachment 643356

If you are lucky you have a panel on the back that allows you access like the smaller image on the right hand side above. If no panel then you have to cut one or pull the back off to get to it. I suggest if no panel exists that you cut one because the switch is cheap and melts down and you may replace a few... I sure have hahaha.

This is a common failure point on an MES. What happens is that switch starts to melt down and heats up directly at the switch.
The whole purpose of that switch is that if it reads temps over like 305F degrees it will cut power off to the heating element until the temp dies down.
So if the switch itself is melting down and overheating well it gets a false reading... until it burns up completely.
This is a common failure.

So get to that switch and check if it is burnt up at all. I bet the switch and or the connectors to it are burnt up.

If you find the switch burnt up you can clip the connectors and wire nut the wires together and that should feed power to the heating element but WARNING you are doing so without a safety switch in the mix so do at your own peril.
You can wire nut them together to confirm that it heats up and holds temp for a bit at like 225F and if so you know the switch was the only problem.

If you want a replacement switch I would suggest the ceramic version but again these are still cheap switches. There are 2 different styles of this switch which look the same BUT ARE NOT THE SAME. If you replace GET THIS EXACT ONE:

Please check and report back on what you find.
If you have to cut a panel it is worth replacing all your electrical connectors with good high temp ones at the heating element and the safety switch as they are the #1 failure point on MES smokers. They use super cheap female spade connectors (1/4 inch AWG 16) that corrode and burn up all the time.

Let us know what you find and we can get u back up and running. We've helped a ton of people find and fix these kinds of issues, they aren't too hard to deal with. Especially if its just a failing switch or connector :)
Thanks for the info. I do not have an access panel either inside or on the back for the overtemp sensor. I only have one access panel on the back at the bottom. It looks like it is for the heating element.

I like the idea of bypassing the over temp sensor. I use blue tooth sensors for both internal meat temp and ambient temp below) 200 or above 300 deg.

I have limited tools and metal work experience. What's the best way to cut an access panel on the back? Could I get to the overtemp sensor wiring at the existing access panel on the back without having to cut a hole in the back?
 

Bearcarver

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Thanks for the info. I do not have an access panel either inside or on the back for the overtemp sensor. I only have one access panel on the back at the bottom. It looks like it is for the heating element.

I like the idea of bypassing the over temp sensor. I use blue tooth sensors for both internal meat temp and ambient temp below) 200 or above 300 deg.

I have limited tools and metal work experience. What's the best way to cut an access panel on the back? Could I get to the overtemp sensor wiring at the existing access panel on the back without having to cut a hole in the back?
Stick with Tallbm---He'll get you squared away---He's My Goto on MES repairs.
If it's just smoke that stops for you, you need an AMNPS.

Bear
 

mneder

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Apr 16, 2015
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Here's another question. If I convert to PID, does that bypass the high heat limit sensor (rollover?)?
 

chopsaw

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Here's another question. If I convert to PID, does that bypass the high heat limit sensor (rollover?)?
If you follow Tallbm's wiring , no .
My opinion is you should leave it in the circuit .
I had mine save me a couple years ago , and I monitor with blue tooth , same as you .

The metal on the back is thin . It doesn't take much to cut it out . A pair of snips if you have them work well . Just get a hole started , then use the snips .
 

tallbm

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Thanks for the info. I do not have an access panel either inside or on the back for the overtemp sensor. I only have one access panel on the back at the bottom. It looks like it is for the heating element.

I like the idea of bypassing the over temp sensor. I use blue tooth sensors for both internal meat temp and ambient temp below) 200 or above 300 deg.

I have limited tools and metal work experience. What's the best way to cut an access panel on the back? Could I get to the overtemp sensor wiring at the existing access panel on the back without having to cut a hole in the back?

Well depending on the back of your smoker there is a way to get to the safety switch but it involves pulling off the entire back. If you have a back that installed with rivets you drill them out and replace with sheet metal screws.
If you have the bent lip backing that is a nightmare, i know. You have to try and hammer the sheet metal back into the lip and then you will still want to put some sheet metal screws in to hold it in place so it doesnt pop out.
Both cases are more work than cutting a panel AND if you have to get back to that switch or wiring you have to do the whole ordeal again so having a simple panel is way faster and more ideal in the long run.

The best way to cut the simplest "access panel" with minimal tools is to drill a hole and use tin/sheet metal snips that can fit in the hole and allow you to cut a shape like this on the back over the area where the safety rollout limit switch is:
1663009731458.png


Then you just peel the left side to the left and right side to the right to get to the comportment holding the switch. Next you will unscrew the housing that is underneath the panel you created and you will have direct access to the switch and will likely see it and/or the connectors all burnt up.

When done you just fold the metal back in place, hammer it down a little to stay and cover with foil flue tape like this:

Should you need to get back into it u just cut he tape, bend open the metal and u are back in the area.


Here's another question. If I convert to PID, does that bypass the high heat limit sensor (rollover?)?

The simple rewire I suggest for the MES keeps the safety rollout limit switch in the circuit. The rewire is a simple cutting off of 4 wire ends and then wire nut or splice of wire ends to make 2 whole wires out of those ends.
This now allows power to flow from the MES plug to the heating element with the safety rollout switch in the mix.
Simple.
Anyone that can cut a wire, strip a little insulation off the wire end, and use a wire nut, can do the rewire for PID conversion. That simple!

If the problem doesn't happen to be that switch, I guarantee you at some point it will fail so having the panel is great for that day anyhow. I strongly feel that switch is what is failing according to what you describe and how many people we help on here with this kind of problem.

One other thing to consider with the PID conversion is that the smoker you end up with is easily 10x better performing than what you have now or anything masterbuilt makes brand new.
It is an apples and oranges comparison once you do a PID conversion.
I always say its like turning your golf cart into a Ferrari when it comes to performance hahaha.

I hope all this info helps :)
 

mneder

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Apr 16, 2015
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Thanks everyone for all the great info. I ordered the roll over switch today and I'm going to order a PID. Just trying to understand the options. Advice anyone. The Argus WiFi is pricey but I can see a lot of advantages to having it on a phone app. Thoughts?
 

tallbm

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Thanks everyone for all the great info. I ordered the roll over switch today and I'm going to order a PID. Just trying to understand the options. Advice anyone. The Argus WiFi is pricey but I can see a lot of advantages to having it on a phone app. Thoughts?
Like cmayna cmayna mentions Auber is a good brand that works. I recommend them a lot because they work and are whole units.

Here is the the lowest price one that would run your 1200watt unit well:

Here's their wifi one:

Their manual isn't very easy to understand. Initially setting it up really isnt that complex but their confusing instructions are annoying, BUT once you get the settings in you don't really have to ever do it again.
Now with that said, the wifi unit lets you do all settings from the phone app which is reported to be super easy to use so some people opt for the wifi simply because its so simple to enter the settings AND obviously you get wifi functionality :D

The prices may seem a bit high but honestly it is less expensive to buy these than it is to buy all the tools, parts, and components needed to build a complete PID unit yourself.
If you have already built one before and have the tools and extra components then the main PID parts and the time are all you have to spend.

I hope this info helps :)
 
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mneder

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Apr 16, 2015
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Like cmayna cmayna mentions Auber is a good brand that works. I recommend them a lot because they work and are whole units.

Here is the the lowest price one that would run your 1200watt unit well:

Here's their wifi one:

Their manual isn't very easy to understand. Initially setting it up really isnt that complex but their confusing instructions are annoying, BUT once you get the settings in you don't really have to ever do it again.
Now with that said, the wifi unit lets you do all settings from the phone app which is reported to be super easy to use so some people opt for the wifi simply because its so simple to enter the settings AND obviously you get wifi functionality :D

The prices may seem a bit high but honestly it is less expensive to buy these than it is to buy all the tools, parts, and components needed to build a complete PID unit yourself.
If you have already built one before and have the tools and extra components then the main PID parts and the time are all you have to spend.

I hope this info helps :)
Report- I feel like I'm back to square one. I replaced the roll over limit switch today. Only problem I had was I cut one of the wires to the switch when I was cutting the back open. I used a crimp connector with heat shrink to repair it. Then I turned the smoker on to test it at 250 deg for 24 hours. I added a pan of water and burned wood chips, just like a cook but without meat. The smoker ran perfectly for four hours and then turned off on its own again. (before the repair it wouldn't have gone more than an hour or two at the most before shutting down.) As timing would have it, I just finished ordering the Auber 1520 Wifi from Auber Instruments when the smoker shut down. I turned it back on, again 250 deg and 24 hours and it worked for less than an hour and shut off again. I just started it for the third time at 275 feg and 24 hours. I expect it to turn itself off again any time now. Not sure what to do at this point..... cancel the Auber or install it to replace the electronic controls on my smoker. Besides the roll over limit switch and the control panel is then anything else that has the ability to force an uncommanded power off of a Masterbuilt smoker?

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?
 
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cmayna

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Update on your 3rd attempt? If it failed again, I would get the auber as planned and as what I did, I over rode my Masterbuilt's entire circuitry by attaching a power cord directly to the heating element, then plug the power cord to the Auber.

Just like plugging a Big or Little Chief smoker to an Auber. Been there, done that.
 

zwiller

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Update on your 3rd attempt? If it failed again, I would get the auber as planned and as what I did, I over rode my Masterbuilt's entire circuitry by attaching a power cord directly to the heating element, then plug the power cord to the Auber.

Just like plugging a Big or Little Chief smoker to an Auber. Been there, done that.
+1 That's what I would do. I have been putting off doing the Auber install but plan to do it soon. Got the wifi as well. Didn't see anyone say it but the performance of the MES+Auber is well known to be night and day from stock. Remember you can always use it if you get another smoker. For some reason I never really thought of it like that.
 

chopsaw

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Not sure what to do at this point
Keep the Auber coming and get it installed . You won't regret it .
Plenty of help here . Let us know when you're going to do it in case you have questions , or you can do like some and hook it right to the element itself .
 
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tallbm

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Report- I feel like I'm back to square one. I replaced the roll over limit switch today. Only problem I had was I cut one of the wires to the switch when I was cutting the back open. I used a crimp connector with heat shrink to repair it. Then I turned the smoker on to test it at 250 deg for 24 hours. I added a pan of water and burned wood chips, just like a cook but without meat. The smoker ran perfectly for four hours and then turned off on its own again. (before the repair it wouldn't have gone more than an hour or two at the most before shutting down.) As timing would have it, I just finished ordering the Auber 1520 Wifi from Auber Instruments when the smoker shut down. I turned it back on, again 250 deg and 24 hours and it worked for less than an hour and shut off again. I just started it for the third time at 275 feg and 24 hours. I expect it to turn itself off again any time now. Not sure what to do at this point..... cancel the Auber or install it to replace the electronic controls on my smoker. Besides the roll over limit switch and the control panel is then anything else that has the ability to force an uncommanded power off of a Masterbuilt smoker?

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?
When you replaced the safety switch was the old one melted down or any of the connectors corroded away?
Also, those switches are super cheaply built.
When installing the new one if you wiggled the tab where it moved at the back of the plastic base of the switch it will melt down on you in no time.
If you check the switch again I wonder if the new one already failed. I've had them fail that fast on me because I didn't know how delicate they were and how moving the tabs at all would cause them to fail super fast.

Finally, have you tried just not using the switch and just using a wire nut to connect the 2 wire ends directly thereby removing the safety switch from the equation to confirm the switch is failing?
If you do this keep an eye on the smoker temp it because you no longer have the safety switch in the mix.
 

mneder

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Apr 16, 2015
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When you replaced the safety switch was the old one melted down or any of the connectors corroded away?
Also, those switches are super cheaply built.
When installing the new one if you wiggled the tab where it moved at the back of the plastic base of the switch it will melt down on you in no time.
If you check the switch again I wonder if the new one already failed. I've had them fail that fast on me because I didn't know how delicate they were and how moving the tabs at all would cause them to fail super fast.

Finally, have you tried just not using the switch and just using a wire nut to connect the 2 wire ends directly thereby removing the safety switch from the equation to confirm the switch is failing?
If you do this keep an eye on the smoker temp it because you no longer have the safety switch in the mix.
UPDATE- Whe I was performing my test with the new limit switch the unit failed three times before I terminated the test. The fist uncommanded turn off was about three hours into the test. The second and third were after approx 30 minutes each. When I removed the old limit switch I did not see any obvious damage to the switch or the terminals/connectors. The Auber id due to arrive togay. My plan is to do the basic rewire and test it to see if that resolve the shut down problem. If that doesn't work I'll bypass the roll limit switch and test again.

UPDATE 2- I removed the metal plate at the bottom-back of my MES to rewire it for the Aubur Wifi unit and was surprised to find that the wiring is completely different than the pics I've seen in this forum. Basically, the panel covered two wires only. One from a grommet on the right side of the panel and one from the bottom. That's it. I suspect these two wires are from the (right side) roll limit switch and (bottom) hot wire for the heating element, but I'm not positive about this. They both are plugged into have spade connectors- I suspect that are the heating element lugs. So, how do I rewire this for the Auber? Do I have to remove the entire back (drill out rivets), or is there a simpler, better solution? Help!
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